When an older adult is preparing for retirement or already retired, one question that often arises is where to live. The family home might be too much work or too expensive to maintain for those interested in a carefree lifestyle. While most people are aware of senior living communities, some of the misconceptions about them may prevent older adults from considering this option.
Separating fact from fiction can allow a senior to make a more informed housing decision for their retirement years.
5 Misconceptions About Senior Living Communities
- Senior living communities are a prettier version of nursing homes.
This lingering misconception is one of the most common. A senior living community is not the same thing as a nursing home. At a nursing home, the only level of care provided is 24-hour skilled care.
Senior living communities offer independent and/or assisted living for older adults. Independent living is designed for an active older adult, and assisted living is for those who need help with personal care and the activities of daily living. Some communities also have specialized memory care for adults with dementia. This variety allows residents to choose the type of community, care, services, and amenities that best meets their needs.
- Senior living communities are only for people who are ill.
Another misconception is that there is no real reason to move unless you are ill or can’t care for your own needs. While senior living communities can and do provide assistance with personal care for those who require it, there are a host of additional benefits. From meals that are delicious and nutritious to wellness programs and life-enrichment activities, communities are designed to encourage healthy living.
- Senior living communities discourage independence.
Another fear that is rooted in misunderstanding is that you will give up your independence by moving to a senior community. The opposite is actually true. Quality senior living communities encourage residents to do as much for themselves as is safely possible. This empowers older adults to be independent.
Most communities are also flexible in the amount of care they deliver. For example, a resident who is active and independent might need a little extra help in the short-term following an illness or surgery. Once they are recovered and back on their feet, they can return to their previous level of service.
- Senior living communities don’t allow for privacy.
It’s easy to assume that a move to community-style housing comes with a loss of privacy. The reality is that residents have as much—or as little—privacy as they choose. You are encouraged to join in events and activities offered by the community to stimulate social engagement, but participation not a requirement.
While many residents enjoy being part of the active lifestyle that is central to senior living communities, you are free to set your own schedule every day. You can participate in as many—or as few—events as you choose.
- Senior living communities aren’t a good value for the price.
Dollar for dollar, moving to a senior living community isn’t as expensive as many families assume. When you factor in all of the benefits, care, and services, it’s easier to see how making this move is a sound financial decision. Housing, meals, utilities, wellness programs, transportation, and daily activities are a few of the many services and amenities that are included. Download our cost analysis worksheet to see the value a senior living community provides.
These communities offer something else of great value: peace of mind. Family members can rest easy knowing their loved one is in good hands.
Visit Clearwater Living Today
If you or an older adult in your life is resistant to the idea of moving, it may be due to fear or a lack of understanding about what senior living is. We invite you to visit Clearwater Living for a tour or even a short-term respite stay.
Call the Clearwater community nearest you to learn more. One of our experienced team members will be happy to answer any questions you might have about senior living!